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Mary’s Miscellanea: Alpacas, birds and a building

Mary Phillips Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm •  Published: April 2, 2013

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter and enjoyed the beautiful sunny afternoon.

  • My friend Terry Bradford, owner of her own herd of alpacas, wanted to take a photo of Margo the alpaca wearing a crocheted caplet of yarn made from her fleece.

So, off we went, down the H.E. Bailey Turnpike to the Circle of Dreams Alpaca Ranch in Fletcher, OK, where Terry agists, or boards, her herd.

After a bit of a chase, Margo was caught, haltered, dressed and photographed.

Therease Dacus of Circle of Dreams Alpaca Ranch and Margo display a caplet crocheted from yarn spun from Margo's fleece. - PHOTO BY MARY PHILLIPS, THE OKLAHOMAN
Therease Dacus of Circle of Dreams Alpaca Ranch and Margo display a caplet crocheted from yarn spun from Margo's fleece. - PHOTO BY MARY PHILLIPS, THE OKLAHOMAN
  • Fletcher is a small town northeast of Lawton founded in 1902 and named for Fletcher Dodge, who donated the land for the town site.  Learn more about Fletcher at http://www.fletcher-oklahoma.com/
  • If a mockingbird ever decides to bless you with its presence, you might consider yourself cursed after a while.

A single mockingbird, it seems, can sing nonstop from morning to night, and, for hindering sleep, can almost be worse than a singing cricket.

While mockingbirds are more common in my city neighborhood, it is the common loon that is my favorite bird.

The state bird of Minnesota, the loon, visits Oklahoma lakes, particularly Lake Tenkiller, during its spring and fall migration.

Check out the Lake Tenkiller Area Visitors Guide at http://www.laketenkiller.com/ or for birds http://oklahomabirds.com/

A micro-climate caused by a south facing brick home creates early blooming iris. - PHOTO BY MARY PHILLIPS, THE OKLAHOMAN
A micro-climate caused by a south facing brick home creates early blooming iris. - PHOTO BY MARY PHILLIPS, THE OKLAHOMAN
  • Have you noticed the beautiful forsythia is starting to change from yellow to green and Bradford pears are losing their blossoms for leafy greenery?

My irises, admittedly blessed by a micro-climate on the south side of my brick house, have been blooming for a week now. I love the dark blue flowers.

Being a history buff, one of the things that catches my attention is buildings that have names inscribed on them.

They always cause me to wonder, “Who was that person who put their name up there for all to see?”

The Phelan building on S Robinson displays the name of the building's original owner and builder. - PHOTO BY MARY PHILLIPS, THE OKLAHOMAN
The Phelan building on S Robinson displays the name of the building's original owner and builder. - PHOTO BY MARY PHILLIPS, THE OKLAHOMAN
  • On S Robinson, there is a building built in 1937. The first floor was built for shops and the second floor for apartments. On the front of the building is the name Phelan.

Who was Phelan?

Dr. Joseph R. Phelan, an eye, ear, nose and throat doctor, arrived in Oklahoma City in 1900 and practiced medicine for nearly 45 years. He also dabbled in real estate and owned a company, Phelan Brooder Co., which sold temperature-controlled brooders to chicken farmers.

His wife, Camille Nixdorf Phelan, was nationally known for her needlework and quilting which included the “The Oklahoma Quilt” displaying the history of Oklahoma from 1541 to 1931. It was exhibited at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and then donated to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Dr. Phelan died in 1956 and was preceded in death by his wife in 1946.

Now, we know the story behind the name on a building.

The Oklahoman has an excellent article about Camille Phelan and the Oklahoma Quilt available on-line in the NewsOK Archives. You can access The Archives at NewsOK.com or try your public library.

If you come across the interesting or the odd or if you just have a question on Oklahoma history I might be able to answer, e-mail me at mphllips@opubco.com

 



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